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Dragon for Education

Speech Recognition Software Helps Students of All Abilities Realize their Full Potential

Accessibility and Productivity Tools for Students and Teachers

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A Foundation for Dyslexic Students


Dragon speech recognition software is helping to enhance the educational process for students and teachers alike. It has been shown to improve core reading and writing skills for students of all abilities, including those with physical or language-based learning disabilities, as well as English Language Learners. Dragon lets students dictate papers and assignments three times faster than typing — with up to 99% accuracy. It is also widely used in secondary business education and computer applications courses to familiarize students with emerging interfaces. Plus, many teachers rely on the software as a productivity tool to help them manage their overwhelming administrative workload. With all these advantages, it’s no wonder that Dragon is being used in more and more elementary, secondary, and post-secondary school today—with great results.

What's New in Dragon 13



For Students of All Abilities - Dragon has been shown to improve reading and writing skills for students of all abilities. Dictation requires students to read aloud, a practice that not only increases oral reading efficiency, but can drive improvements in word recognition and pronunciation as well as reading fluency and comprehension. Since reading aloud is not widely practiced as students progress to middle and high school, Dragon provides a great way to keep students’ oral reading skills sharp. Many teachers are also using Dragon to help reinforce composition skills based on the "Six Traits of Writing.” Students brainstorm their ideas/content, organize their thoughts, determine their purpose/voice, develop their sentence structure, and apply overall writing mechanics by composing with their voice instead of paper and pencil or a keyboard. For many students, this approach yields better composition, improved grammar skills and expanded use of vocabulary.

Though it’s not specifically designed to automatically transcribe any lecture by any teacher, Dragon speech recognition can be used as a transcription solution by students and teachers that need to capture lecture content in writing. Learn more.

For Physically Challenged Students - Students with physical disabilities, especially those who do not have use of their hands for keyboarding, use Dragon for accessibility purposes. It provides greater independence, eliminates the need for a dictation buddy, and helps these students keep pace with their non-disabled peers. Dragon’s also a great solution for students suffering from repetitive stress injuries, like carpel tunnel syndrome, that make keyboarding painful, if not impossible. It can also help prevent RSIs in the first place.

For Students with Learning Disabilities - Students with certain learning disabilities, especially those with language-based learning disabilities like dyslexia and working memory issues, use Dragon to help them with writing by taking the focus off the mechanics of composition—spelling, sentence structure, etc.—so it’s easier to transfer ideas into written words.

For English Language Learners (ELLs) - Research has shown that ELLs, also known as emergent bilinguals, can benefit from using Dragon to harness their oral English skills to advance their academic writing. Studies have also shown that Dragon can support ELLs with note taking, paraphrasing, fluency, word comprehension, and pronunciation – skills that can help drive academic success.

For Business Education Students - Dragon is being integrated into traditional middle school, secondary and post-secondary business courses across the US to prepare students for the 21st century workplace. Dragon is the perfect speech input technology choice for business education curriculum because it’s remarkably easy to learn; it’s highly accurate for the vast majority of speakers; it’s a proven student productivity tool; and it’s available in many languages.

For Teachers - With Dragon, teachers can read and respond to students' essays quickly and easily. They can add more comments and detailed notes because they’re not constrained by time-consuming hand-written feedback – not to mention poor penmanship! With a wireless headset, teachers reviewing assignments and providing dictated feedback are no longer tied so closely to the desk and computer. They can move around as they dictate notes to students or sit back and relax as they add comments to papers.



Write and format papers and presentations - Dragon’s fast, accurate dictation capabilities make it easier for students to transfer thoughts and ideas into written text without worrying about spelling mistakes. Dragon also makes it simple to edit and format documents by voice. It provides direct commands for formatting, deleting, and copying words and passages. Furthermore, Dragon provides fine control over the form, spacing and capitalization of items written in various contexts.

Take notes for papers and assignments - Dragon saves students time by letting them take notes by simply talking to their computers or speaking into a digital recorder for later transcription on their PC. No more cramped fingers from jotting down notes by hand. They can just dictate important facts as they read print or online material.

Conduct Internet-based research - Students can use simple spoken commands to find information on the Internet or files on their computer. They can locate information quickly and easily by simply saying things like, "Search the Web for global warming articles,” "Search Wikipedia for George Washington Carver,” or "Search eBay for Batman comic books.”

Communicate with peers and teachers - With Dragon, students can send email and IMs to collaborate on group or classroom projects — entirely by voice.  They can use their voice to compose and send both email and instant messages to classmates and teachers, enabling full participation in group projects that require ongoing communication, collaboration, and sharing of information.


Prepare lesson plans and assignments - Because Dragon enables users to dictate three times faster than typing — with up to 99% accuracy —teachers can prepare lesson plans, syllabi, reading lists, worksheets, and more faster than ever before.

Assess Student Work - Teachers can use Dragon to provide more detailed feedback when assessing student work — from papers through research projects to tests — with unprecedented speed and ease.

Send and Manage Email - Like other professionals, teachers are often bombarded with up to hundreds of emails a day — from colleagues, administrators, parents and students. With Dragon, they can control email applications, and compose and reply to messages — all by voice — to keep up with the administrative aspect of their job.



David Gayes:
I am a sophomore at Dominican University. I have spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Throughout high school, blogging, and now college, Dragon has been an invaluable tool in helping me put down my thoughts on paper in an efficient and effective way. I began using Dragon NaturallySpeaking early in high school. I am unable to hand write, and I wanted to be able to share my thoughts independently without the hassle of having to dictate to someone else. I soon realized that Dragon could level the playing field for me. Thanks to this program, I was able to write in a way that worked for me. Using my voice to dictate, rather than my hands to write or type enabled me to overcome a barrier to academic success. As I look ahead, I see that Dragon NaturallySpeaking will be an integral part of my future success.

A parent:
For our 12 year old son, school was a nightmare. His Aspergers made the work tedious, his dyslexia was frustrating, and his dysgraphia made handwriting extremely difficult and exhausting. According to him, it was torture every day until he met the Dragon. It took a bit of practice and he was frustrated when the Dragon didn't understand him. He even was heard reprimanding the Dragon for making mistakes! Soon, however, he and the Dragon became fast friends. Sometimes they would play too much and Alex enjoyed tricking the Dragon with sound effects. It's now almost 4 years later and Alex and the Dragon are still friends. Alex has been able to write wonderfully imaginative stories with the help of the Dragon, as well as complete other academic projects in high school. Now, he and the Dragon talk often which allows his ideas to be communicated more effectively so that the true Alex shines through. Thank you Dragon!

A parent:
For eight years my child has had exceptional challenges in the classroom. It began in kindergarten and he is now a 7th grader. We were told that he didn't recognize vowel sounds and that his reading skills were very poor. We tried everything to determine his problem and to get him assistance. I immediately went to work to get an IEP (individualized education program) developed for him so that he would have assistance in the classroom. …Dragon has allowed him to have perfect notes, which has also helped him improve his grades from C's and D's to ALL B's. Not only are we thrilled for him, but his self-esteem has dramatically improved and he has so much self-confidence! This program has been worth every penny that we paid. …We are thrilled with this program and the best part is that now he talks about wanting to go on to college, where before he adamantly refused because he was so frustrated with school that he felt like college would be impossible. This program has changed my child's life drastically for the better and to hear him speaking of going to college because of what Dragon can do for him........truly a success story!!

Michael Campisi:
I am 16 years old. I was born prematurely at 26 weeks. My early birth left me with many medical problems. In particular, cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus have caused me to struggle in school. I am unable to look downward for long periods of time and tire easily. As you can imagine, this has made some of my school work impossible, such as scribing. There was always more information in my mind than I could ever get onto paper. Six years ago, as school became more demanding, I was given a one-on-one personal aide to scribe all of my notes, projects, homework, tests and various daily activities. This worked extremely well for many years. Now that I am a teenager and going into high school next year, I wanted to become independent. It was becoming a social problem to have this wonderful caring aide by my side all day long. Kids were beginning to tease me. At last year's IEP, I heard about a program that could help me by doing all the typing for me by voice recognition. It was Dragon Naturally Speaking. I had a trial period with Dragon all last summer and from the moment I started the program, I felt like it was designed especially for my needs. It was the answer to all my prayers. The school agreed and provided me with the program to use during my school years. While I will always be thankful for my personal aide, I am thrilled to be able to enter into high school with the greatest gift of all.... independence. Thanks so much Nuance. You were the answer to my prayers.

For Teachers

Amy Hale:
"Dragon NaturallySpeaking has absolutely changed my life! I am what you might call a cyber professor, I teach Humanities and Anthropology to students around the world entirely online. In order to make a living this way, I have to teach a lot of classes. With the volume of students I teach, I read a lot of e-mails, grade a lot of papers, and facilitate many discussion boards every week. When my classroom-based colleagues ask me what my secret is, I tell them quite simply that it is Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Dragon allows me to effectively and efficiently provide my students with the attention and feedback they deserve. It works with all of my learning management systems, and I can navigate the web with ease.”

Andrea Feidi:
"I was born in Italy, and after I completed my Bachelor at the University of Florence, I got married and moved to Canada first, then to the U.S., when I was offered a position to teach Italian language and culture at the University of Stony Brook. Every semester, I teach courses in Italian, designed for our Italian majors (most of whom proceed to become middle and high school language teachers), and courses in English, including one on Italian civilization from the foundation of Rome to the Renaissance, which has more than 200 students every spring. … Even though I am not a native speaker of English, and I speak with an accent that is still noticeable, thanks to the progress made by Dragon through the years and to the option of training the program to recognize my less-than-perfect pronunciation, I'm able to use it every day for several hours, and, occasionally, in class. Every semester I send out an average of 1000 e-mail messages, in both Italian and English, all of them comfortably dictated into my computer. .... In my opinion, there's no better way to work for a professional in the humanities, whose world is practically made up entirely of words.”

"I have been teaching part-time as an adjunct professor from George Mason University, Fairfax County Virginia for the past few years. Recently, I made the switch from the brick-and-mortar school to the online community by accepting a teaching assignment with the University of Phoenix. One of the fundamental differences of teaching online is that all your interaction is done in an online format that requires extensive feedback. I was intrigued with the possibility of being able to provide feedback to my student’s papers / essays while speaking to the computer … I’m very happy to say six months into the program. I have nothing but positive comments. While there has been a slight learning curve, it has not been anywhere near as dramatic as I originally thought. So now I am free to give in-depth detailed responses to my students to a level that was not afforded to me before. This has proven to be beneficial to me, but I think it's really more beneficial to my students. I am able to explain in detail those areas that were well done, and those areas that need improvement. This has truly been a wonderful tool and a tremendous enhancement to my teaching.”

Jerry Kaber:
"I use Dragon to correct college student assignments. It allows me to quickly address corrections and recommendations to the writer in a comfortable and easy manner. The reaction from the students is that they seem to think I am talking to them instead of using very brief messages that are not very candid or in any detail. I can add enormous detail very easily. When correcting papers one tends to use very limited explanations to the writer, but with Dragon one can easily explain complex ideas and elaborate issues very easily. Using it along with the Microsoft check tracker, the statement dictated stands out in any color you like. I have influenced many faculty to use it and especially those that are doing research and writing books.”

Katherine Kantardjieff:
"I am the faculty coordinator for academic technology on my campus, Cal State Fullerton, where I have pioneered the use of web conferencing tools to create synchronous and blended learning environments in a variety of courses, including chemistry. Because we are also trying to find creative ways to encourage faculty campus-wide to explore technology in teaching, and we must keep the learning curve fairly shallow in training them to create ADA compliant course sites and materials, I have explored using various tools in combination. Our campus has an enterprise license for ilinc, which many faculty use. I liked what I read about Dragon, purchased it, learned it, and then began experimenting with its use in tandem with ilinc. This has created a beautiful solution to create a fully ADA compliant synchronous course environment. Students can see my presentation, hear my audio, AND, with Dragon, a transcript of what I say is beautifully captured in the chat box. I can record the entire session, and the chat thread can be post-edited for punctuation, stray typographical errors, or odd scientific terms/symbols.”

Leo Benoit:
"I work at an AT (Assistive Technology) center in New Hampshire… For many of years now I have taught teachers, so that they can help their students with learning disabilities, workers with physical limitations, and people who use it for recreational purposes as well. Because of [Dragon] I can write more intelligently than before. This is not because I did not have a good vocabulary I just did not know how to spell the words that would give my writing power. I would use smaller words such as big instead of gigantic, car instead of automobile and happy instead of joyful. It has helped me and countless others achieve their goals in life, I know this because as an assistant technologist I have introduced Dragon NaturallySpeaking to others who need assistive technology to access their

An online educator:
"I had a colleague tell me about Dragon NaturallySpeaking a few years ago. I was always in awe of how fast she could turn around a graded paper, or dash off a note to a student in AIM or e-mail. So, I decided to give it a try for myself. I have found that my feedback to students is more comprehensive, my discussion posts richer, and my e-mail responses more direct through the use of speech recognition software. Before using this software I would try and limit my comments in papers because after 50 papers or so my hands were just too tired to give them more than the bare feedback relative to what the problem is. Now, with Dragon I can write feedback comments that are specific to that student without costing me any additional time.”

Richard Belcastro:
"I teach classes at the local community college. I receive hundreds of e-mail messages per week requiring a timely response regarding student assignments, homework, and class content clarification. Dragon allows me to be most efficient and effective in completing this important part of my job. I can blast through my e-mail messages without lifting a finger and sometimes completing other tasks in parallel. I also use Dragon to create, publish, and maintain the classroom material for projection and handouts.”

"I teach on-line classes at a local university, I have students from all over the world, and currently have 15 students. As part of the class there is a discussion area, in which the students post answers to my questions as well as respond to other students. It used to take me over 2 hours a day to keep up with the postings and responding to the individual students postings, with Dragon I cut the time down to less than 20 minutes a day and I feel my responses are more insightful and help the students understand the topics better.”


Dragon for Education
Dragon enables students, teachers and school administrators to talk to their computers and watch their spoken words appear in documents, email, instant messages and more — three times faster than most people type — with up to 99% accuracy.

Helping All Students Reach Their Full Potential
This white paper outlines how speech recognition is being used today to enhance the educational process for students and teachers alike. It provides detailed information on how the technology can be successfully leveraged as an assistive technology for students with physical and learning disabilities, as an integral part of business curriculum at the middle and secondary school levels, and as a productivity-enhancing tool for teachers and school administrators.

Gregory’s story in his own words
"The big pain before was getting my thoughts on paper," said Gregory Robinson, a 12-year old student and Dragon NaturallySpeaking user. "Now with Dragon, I can just say it and have it down on a piece of paper." (See more of Gregory’s story in his own words, and the words of his teachers and parents, here.)



Dragon is packaged in multiple product editions with feature sets that vary based on user needs. The Dragon Premium Student/Teacher edition is for individual users. In addition, educators have the opportunity to take advantage of the advanced features and enterprise deployment benefits of Dragon Professional with academic volume license discounts.

Educational institutions with volume license requirements have several options:

  • The Open License Program, a public volume license program available to all qualified K12 and HED organizations, offers significant education discounts on Nuance Speech and Imaging products.
  • The Dragon Academic Lab Pack, available through the Open License Program. The Academic Lab Pack delivers a great value for the education community and includes five licenses of Dragon Professional, five headsets and the necessary software media (DVD).
  • The Dragon K-12 School License Program is ideal for schools considering Dragon deployments in classrooms or computer labs. The Dragon K-12 School License allows schools to install Dragon Professional and/or Dragon Dictate on up to 20 school-owned or school-leased computers at a single location. This single-site program, designed exclusively for K-12 schools, offers both value and flexibility, allowing schools to combine both PC- and Mac-based speech recognition products.

For volume orders, contact our sales team now

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A student in our summer program was struggling with his writing; rushing to get out his thoughts and skipping words he couldn’t spell... After training on Dragon for about an hour and 15 minutes, this student was able to complete a high-quality, six-page paper on Helen Keller in a single evening. 
-Kathy Burris
Assistive Technology Coordinator & Educator
Landmark College
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